Answer to 2022 3rd Quarter “Name That Herb”

Dr. Katja Görts ©


I am native to Southern Europe and Asia but in between I can be found throughout South and Middle Europe and North Africa. Like marshmallow and hollyhock, I belong to the family of malvaceae. 

In Western herbal medicine I have been used for my purported emollient, demulcent, expectorant, diuretic, spasmolytic, and laxative properties.
My applicable parts are the leaves and flowers. Among others I contain naphthoquinones anthocyanidins, terpenes, polysaccharides, phenolics, flavonoids, mucilage, carotenoids, and vitamin C.
I contain mucilage which protects and soothes mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract which these days are my main therapeutic domains in animals and people.

Preliminary animal and in vitro research shows, that my flowers, fruits, stems, and leaves have antioxidant activity. Animal research shows that my flower extract improves hepatic function and reduces liver tissue damage in rats. These effects are thought to be due to my antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Due to my antioxidant effects, I am used for reducing pain and inflammation. My mucilage has shown in vitro to inactivate serum complement, which is a component in the host defense system.
Some preliminary research suggests that I might have kidney protectant effects. Animal models show that giving a mallow decoction in addition to a kidney-toxic compound reduces oxidation activity and histological kidney damage in rats. Additional animal research shows my flower extract improves kidney function and reduces renal injury in rats.

In TCM herbal medicine a relative of mine belongs to the group of Damp draining herbs. It is cold and sweet and enters the Urinary Bladder, Large Intestine and Small Intestine channels. It promotes urination and relieves Lin syndrome, promote lactation and moistens the intestines. Western indications include urinary tract infections, painful urination, dribbling urine, Lin Heat, Lin Stone and Lin Blood syndromes as well as edema. Furthermore, it can be useful in agalactia, mastitis and constipation. It should be used with caution during gestation and with diarrhea due to Spleen deficiency. It is e.g., part of the TCM formula Shi Wei San.


I am Mallow or Malva sylvestris. In TCM: Malva verticillata semen or Dōng kuí zi.



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  3. Bencao Application for iOS, version 1.5

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